Notable NH Deaths: Former Keene Mayor, Former Wilton and Lebanon Fire Chiefs, Former Goffstown Police Chief

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Dr. Josiah Calef Eastman (April 2, 1811, to Nov. 27, 1897) was a physician in Hampstead and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in town, along with several of his family members. He was a great-grandson of Gov. Josiah Bartlett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In a history of the region published in 1898, Dr. Eastman was said to have attended the births of more than 4,500 children. He was appointed in 1861 by Gov. Berry as the surgeon of the Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers and served two years at southern battlefields during the Civil War. He served in the New Hampshire militia, retiring as a colonel. He was a prime mover in the building of the Rochester & Nashua railroad and was a director. He also served as Rockingham County treasurer, a member of the state legislature from 1847-1850 and as a state senator from 1853-1854. In 1849, he introduced a bill in the legislature that established public libraries in New Hampshire, making the state the first state in the Union to empower towns and cities to maintain free public libraries by taxation. scans the websites of New Hampshire funeral homes each week and selects at random some of our friends, relatives and neighbors to feature in this column. The people listed here passed away during the previous weeks and have some public or charitable connection to their community. is now offering obituaries through the service. We view this as part of our public service mission. Click here or on the Obituaries tab at the top of our home page to learn more. And if you know of someone from New Hampshire who should be featured in this column, please send your suggestions to

Bill Arthur Bryant, 67, of Rochester, died Dec. 23, 2023. He helped start the program for the Farmington High School football team, also coaching the Little Red Raiders and Babe Ruth and Little League Baseball in Rochester.  He worked at Textron Rubber for 32 years as a machinist and at Strafford County House of Corrections as a correctional officer for 13 years. (Edgerly Funeral Home)

Raymond A. Dick, 60, of Wilton, died Dec. 21, 2023. He was a member of the Wilton Fire Department for 35 years and served 20 years as chief. He helped design and oversaw the construction of the addition to the Wilton Fire Station. (Smith & Heald Funeral Home)

Michael T. French, 68, of Manchester, died Dec. 24, 2023. He served on the Goffstown Police Department for 35 years and retired as chief.  He volunteered with Camp Fatima Exceptional Citizens’ Week for more than 50 years, serving as resident director for 20 years.  (Connor-Healy Funeral Home and Cremation Center)

Frank C. Giacoumis, 82, of Manchester, died Dec. 26, 2023. He was a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and had his “flat hat” placed on the grave of President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemtery. That hat is now in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.  He was a bank and insurance examiner and later, an auditor in the N.H. Securities Division. He retired in 2007 as a corporate law associate with Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, where he worked for 24 years. (Connor-Healy Funeral Home and Cremation Center)

Sarah W. Hutchins, 92 of Hancock, died Dec. 24, 2023. She was an elementary school teacher, a Girl Scouts Leader, member of the Hancock Bicentennial Committee, and member of the First Congregational Church, where she taught Sunday School. She served as treasurer of the Hancock Women’s Guild, volunteer for Sargent Center’s Senior Lunch Program, and as a member of the Red Hatters Society. (Jellison Funeral Home)

James Alfred Masiello, 83, of Hampton and Fort Myers, Fla., died Dec. 22, 2023. He served two terms as the youngest mayor of Keene, in office from 1972 to 1975. He was a member of the Keene Planning Board and City Council. He ran for U.S. Senate in 1978 and served as chairman of the state Department of Education. He was N.H. co-campaign chair for President Gerald Ford’s election run in 1976. He started  the Masiello Agency in Keene in 1965, which over time became the Masiello Group, specializing in insurance, real estate and travel services. In 1995, he founded Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance (SIAA), a national alliance of independent insurance agencies. (J.S. Waterman Langone Chapel, Boston)

Lynn Carlton Perkins, 82, of Warner, died Dec. 19, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was an engineer at Sanders Associates for 18 years. He and his wife opened Perkins Hardware in Warner. He was an incorporator of the Sugar River Bank and served on the board of directors, retiring as chairman in 2016. (Chadwick Funeral and Cremation Service)

Gordon Lord Ramspott, 95, of Sunapee, died  Dec. 22, 2023. He was a Sunapee water and sewer commissioner from 1955 to 1998 and a member of the Sunapee Fire Department from 1958 to 1995. He was a cemetery commissioner and a member of the Sunapee Historical Society and the Sunapee Lions Club. He was a member of the St. Johns Lodge No.1 in Providence, R.I., and King Solomon’s Lodge in Elkins. He was a freemason for more than 71 years. He worked for Claremont Paper Mill for 29 years, then for National Hydro. (Chadwick Funeral and Cremation Service)

Francis E. “Sparky” Stoddard, 78, of Enfield, died Dec. 21, 2023. He was a member of the Vermont Army National Guard and started in 1965 with the Lebanon Fire Department. In 1969, he joined the Hanover Fire Department, serving until 1975 when he was appointed chief of the Lebanon Fire Department,  where he served until 1984. He owned a video rental business called ValleyVideo. He was a member of the Lebanon Elks Lodge and American Legion Post 22 in Lebanon. (Ricker Funeral Homes & Crematory)

Dr. Kevin P. Van Anglen, Ph.D., 70, of Bedford, died Dec. 20, 2023.He was a professor at Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. He was director and editor for numerous academic publications and committees including The Thoreau Society, Inc. He was a member of the board of directors of the MIT GeoSpatial Data Center. (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

Nancy Lee Walker, 90, of Laconia, died Dec. 26, 2023. She was choir director at Our Lady of the Lakes Church in Lakeport from 1960 through the mid-1970’s and then served as the organist and music director at St. Mary’s Church in Tilton for more than 40 years. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Donna Lee Wood, 71, of Manchester and formerly of Candia, died Dec. 20, 2023. She owned and operated several businesses, including Woody’s Tire Service and the Parkway Pub. (Connor-Healy Funeral Home and Cremation Center)

WORDS OF WISDOM: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – Musician David Bowie (born David Robert Jones),  Jan. 8, 1947, to Jan. 10, 2016

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